THE MANATITLANS; OR A RECORD OF SCIENTIFIC EXPLORATIONS IN THE ANDEAN LA PLATA, S. A. Buenos Ayres: Calla Derecho, Imprenta de Razon, 1877. 12mo, pp. [1-2] [i-v] vi  2-478 [479-480: blank] [note: first and last leaves are blanks], fly leaves at front and rear, original blue cloth, front panel ruled in black, spine panel stamped in black and gold, rear panel ruled in blind, chocolate-brown coated endpapers. First edition. Title leaf is a cancel and the imprint is evidently fictitious. Title leaf verso records copyright holder as "Elton R. Smilie." Lyle Wright, American Fiction 1876-1900, records the other issue of this book (the DLC copy) with imprint "Cambridge: Printed at the Riverside Press, 1877" (this variant title leaf is also a cancel). Eccentric lost race novel which provides a report of a German expedition exploring the headwaters of the Paraguay River and its tributaries. The expedition finds a vast walled city, "Heraclea," which was founded millennia earlier by ancient Romans and is now populated by their descendants. Living nearby are other races, including tiny people who vary from dwarf to insect size, called collectively the "Manatitlans." These ancient people have long dwelled in harmony near and with the Romans and are described as having evolved from the intestinal parasites of the god Hercules. The book includes some heavy-handed satire of European society and some utopian touches, but its focus is a discussion of "Manatitlan" society (which has existed for 11,000 years), especially its educational system. Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 2053. Clareson, Science Fiction in America 1870s-1930s 702. Sargent, British and American Utopian Literature, 1516-1985, Additions. Bleiler (1978), p. 181. Reginald 13299. Wright (III) 4997. Old ink stamps of St. Dominic's Library, San Francisco, on front free endpaper and title page (no other library markings). Shallow loss to cloth at upper spine end, lower spine end and corner tips rubbed, a tight, very good copy. A very scarce book.(#131696).
No statement of printing on copyright page.